Grief-Work, a 3 channel film installation I’ve co Directed and co Produced with artist Helen Kirwan will be premiered at the Personal Structures exhibition at the European Cultural Centre at the 59th Venice Biennale on the 23rd of April. The Venice Biennale is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious art exhibition in the world. The 40 min film installation will be on show until the 27th of November 2022.
Grief-Work, is a meditation on concepts of loss, memory, temporality, and journeying as the poetic and metaphorical construction of memory. It is an immersive three-screen film installation inspired by the mourning traditions of ancient Greece and the Middle East. It shows the artist as a character on a metaphorical journey encountering performances of rituals by others, inspired by the funerary scenes portrayed on white-ground Lêkythoi vases. Popular grave gifts in Athens in the 5th century BCE, these are known for a delicate painting style depicting rituals such as dedicating gifts, pouring libations, and decorating graves combined with emotional expressions of sadness and of mourners nourishing the deceased and their memory.
Grief-Work takes the form of a complex montage: a fragmented but interwoven, repetitive structure that is reinforced by the inclusion of chant by a Cypriot Byzantine choir. Chanting echoes many mourning traditions around the world and its continuous rhythmic flow emphasizes the complexity and sense of poetic gravity of Grief-Work.